Working as a facial cosmetic surgeon in a major metropolis like Los Angeles has its clinical perks. One of the biggest is that I get to see and treat some truly fascinating cases of body ritual and alteration. Case in point: lobe stretchers, or young people who use so-called gage piercings to enlarge the holes in their earlobes, sometimes to startling proportions.
Recently the San Francisco Chronicle caught up with a new trend I am seeing increasingly often in my practice: lobe stretchers who want to undo the damage of such youthful habits. Los Angeles ear surgery like this typically requires removing the dangling flesh and resculpting the existing lobe to create a more conventional look.
The effect can be exceptionally hard to detect: patients often tell me their employers, partners, and friends have no idea they ever engaged in such an exaggerated form of “body hacking.” Rave reviews like these are encouraging for those of us who believe cosmetic surgery works best when you can keep your options open.
In other words: it’s music to my ears.